Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Fans
Hard to believe it's been forty years since the most influential band in rock history broke up. Even more remarkable to consider is how The Beatles are still impacting the world today. From the Rock Band release to the recent rerelease of their music with The Beatles Remastered, Volumes 1 and 2, not to mention the thousands of books written, there's a never-ending fascination with the four Liverpool boys who went from dodging thrown beer bottles in the rough clubs of Hamburg, Germany, to performing for an estimated seventy-three million viewers on The Ed Sullivan Show.
People can dream up countless reasons why the group's popularity hasn't waned in the decades since its demise but there's really only one that rises to the top—the band produced incredible music.
Such amazing songs that groups today, musicians that weren't even born before John, Paul, George and Ringo went their separate ways, are still fascinated with and striving to replicate their songs. On one of my Saturday night forays, this musician (and life-long fan) went on a quest to discover new versions of the same old songs. Care to trip down the rabbit hole with me and see what Wonderland has in store?
First, let's start off with one of my favorite tunes from Abbey Road, Paul McCartney's classic, Oh Darling, sung by Sara Bareilles.
Awesome! In the same spirit of stripped down acoustic, let's check out Noel Gallagher's version of John's thought-provoking ballad, Strawberry Fields Forever:
John is still one of my favorite song-writers. The imagery in the song I'm Only Sleeping astounds to this day. This version by the Stereophonics appears to be straight out of the sixties. The infamous Ronnie Wood of the rock groups, the Rolling Stones and Faces, has a cameo.
Yum! Being a musician, some of the Beatle's songs have been played by me for more years than I can count. One that still gives me chills is one of John's plaintive love songs to Yoko. The musical gods and goddesses must have been smiling on me, as I managed to dredge up an amazing version recorded in 1990, ten years after Lennon's death. Here's Hall & Oates on MTV Unplugged doing, Don’t Let Me Down:
Millions of people have been inspired by this music. Musicians I've never even heard of are achieving what even the Beatles never attempted—performing the intricate songs pieced together in the recording studio. Others are simply doing what many musicians dream of, replicating the unforgettable Beatles sound. Here's some of the best I could find:
Maroon 5, with a lovely acoustic version of If I Fell:
Lovely Rita, performed by Travis:
Magic Numbers, performing She's Leaving Home:
Kaiser Chiefs, with a live performance on BBC radio. Here's Getting Better:
Another live BBC Radio performance, this time by Razorlight doing, With a Little Help From My Friends:
And one more Live at BBC, The Fray performing, Fixing a Hole:
The Fab Faux pride themselves on replicating the Beatles, performing intricate songs live, such as Paul's early hit, Penny Lane:
Truth is, there are just too many fantastic clips to share in one article! So for now, let me leave you with a favorite. The son of John and Yoko, perhaps their greatest collaboration, the incredible Sean Ono Lennon, performing with Rufus Wainwright and Robert Schwartzman. Here's the classic song, This Boy.
Thanks for joining me for one of my Saturday night concerts. May the gods and goddesses of music fill your life with song!
"If music be the food of love, play on."—William Shakespeare
On those occasional times when Chiron steps away from her computer, she is often found, guitar in hand, strumming away and crooning her favorite tunes. Her creative spirit leads her to compose fanciful stories, dance madly with her girlfriends, pen motivational essays for writers, and, of course, play songs on her guitar until the wee hours. Catch her essays at The Write Soul: www.chironokeefe.blogspot.com